THE SECRET PROPOSAL
Disclaimer: Still stands true. Try as I might, they aren't mine.
THE SECRET PROPOSAL
"Yes, mother we’re engaged." Deanna answered as she stared at the vid-screen in front of her. "To be married." She emphasized.
"I knew it would happen sooner or later. The two of you traipsing off into space; it was bound to happen." Lwaxanna Troi inhaled deeply, then without missing a beat she blurted out, "Deanna, are you pregnant? Is that why Will Riker agreed to marry you?"
Deanna looked at the vid-screen and laughed, she laughed out loud. She laughed like she did whenever her father used to tickle her unmercifully. "Mother!" The idea seemed so hilarious, and it sounded so…so Lwaxanna Troi.
"Are you?" Lwaxanna asked sternly, ignoring her daughter’s laughter.
"Mother, I can’t believe you just asked that."
"Why are you marrying that…that Star man?"
"This is from a woman whose journal is filled with log after log of woe and anguish, regarding her poor spinster daughter." Deanna wiped the tears from under her eyes.
"Why are you marrying him Deanna?" Lwaxanna asked more sternly. She wasn’t going to let the subject drop.
"For his wealth, Mother." Deanna answered, attempting to lighten her mother’s mood.
"Oh pooh." Lwaxanna rolled her eyes, "The man owns a tree house on a snow capped mountain."
"It isn’t a tree house, it’s a log cabin in Alaska." Deanna laughed. Her voice transformed into a light sarcastic tone, "That’s on Earth, where daddy was born."
"I’m well aware of your father’s origins, Deanna." Lwaxanna answered.
"Really?" Deanna’s voice transformed and sounded hurtful, as she looked at the vid-screen and stated lowly. " I thought you’d be happy for us."
"I am happy for you, darling." Lwaxanna’s voice sounded polite and sincere. She let out a heavy breath as if she was going to say something, but never did.
"But…." Deanna asked picking up on her mother’s silence.
"It’s just the thought of my grandchild being swaddled in some…some…. Woolly mammoth blanket."
"Woolly mammoth?" Deanna laughed again. "Mother, I promise when Will and I decide to have children, I won’t wrap them up in Woolly mammoth blankets."
Lwaxanna let out a sigh of relief. "Thank the deities."
"I wanted to tell you about the wedding and ask you is if you would plan the wedding on Betazed? Will and I are going to be married in Alaska and then, we’ve decided to have a second ceremony on Betazed."
"Deanna, darling. Why don’t you get married on Betazed first?"
Deanna repositioned herself uncomfortably in her chair. "For some reason I knew you would ask that." She mumbled to herself. It was amazing how only the bust of her mother could affect her this way.
Before Deanna could respond to her mother’s question, Lwaxanna’s face blanched and exclaimed, "Oh my stars. You ARE pregnant and you have to get married right away, don’t you?"
"No." Deanna snapped at the face on the vid screen in front of her. "Will you please quit saying that?"
"I’m sorry dear. This is all…. Just so…. So sudden."
"Sudden?" Deanna said with wonderment. "You have been practically drilling me to get married, and throwing the two of us to get together for almost twenty years. You call this sudden?"
"After you float on a raft for so long you get used to seeing nothing but water and then all of a sudden land appears and you simply can’t believe it."
"Thank you for that summarization, Mother." Deanna sounded defeated.
"Well, I suppose a star man is better than no man."
"I said, I suppose a star man…."
"I heard you!" Deanna snapped, bracing herself against her chair. "Mother, I love Will and he loves me."
"Deanna you’re so testy." Lwaxanna shrugged her daughter off. "I never questioned your love for William. I suppose I’m…. I’m just baffled by all of this."
"Baffled? Now that is a first."
"I’m simply saying that for years, you gave the impression that the two of you were friends, Deanna." Lwaxanna reminded her. " Nothing more. Just friends."
"Well, I certainly wouldn’t want to marry an enemy." Deanna repeated her mother’s words to her.
Ignoring her daughter, Lwaxanna asked. "Was the commander delirious with fever when he asked for your hand in marriage?"
Deanna’s mouth gaped open. She was for the first time since the conversation started speechless.
"Was he suddenly possessed by one of those…. Those alien beings you encounter up there in your space travels?" Lwaxanna asked without missing a beat, she continued. "Is this a rebound relationship?"
"I don’t believe this." Deanna whispered as she ran her hand over her face.
"Or perhaps that Woof beat him up and he proposed in the middle of the brawl." Lwaxanna asked, "The poor dear, probably thought he was going to be mauled to death."
"No, mother." Deanna answered, getting annoyed with her mother. "In all actuality I proposed to him."
"You asked him?!" Lwaxanna sounded appalled by the idea.
"Yes, I asked him." Deanna declared to the bust on the view screen. "And don’t ask how or why?"
Lwaxanna was silent for only a moment and then said with a voice tinged with pity. "I suppose when you reach your age…." She began.
"Mother!" Now it was Deanna’s turn to sound appalled.
"Really, Darling." Lwaxanna sounded scolding, "To grovel at a man’s feet and ask for his hand in marriage."
"I did no such thing." Deanna snapped at the vid-screen.
"And he said yes? Just like that? WE are talking about William, aren’t we?"
Deanna, who was fast becoming annoyed with the conversation, decided to cut it off short. "Mother, are you going to plan the ceremony or not?"
"If that’s what you want." Lwaxanna sighed, "I suppose I’ll have to."
"Thank you, Mother." Deanna said courteously with a nod. "I really need to go now. I have a client coming into my office in about ten minutes."
"Oh it isn’t William is it?" Lwaxanna said with concern. "He’s not under psychiatric evaluation is he?"
"No mother. He’s not." Deanna answered with a roll of her eyes.
"Good. I wouldn’t want the father of my grandbabies to be mentally unstable."
Deanna bit her tongue and refrained from saying the witty remark that was on the tip of her tongue and said instead, "I really need to go mother."
"This gala event is happening in six months, two weeks and thirteen days?" Lwaxanna said, as if she was thinking aloud.
"Yes." Deanna said in astonishment. "I suppose so, I haven’t done an actual count down." She was surprised at her mother’s quick calculations.
"That doesn’t give me a lot of time, dear." Lwaxanna relayed, "There’s the florist and the caterer and the orchestra….."
"It should give you enough time to figure our what not to wear." Deanna teased but her humor fell flat.
"I’ve got to go, little one. Mother loves you." The ambassador of Betazed said totally ignoring her daughter. With a quick click of Lwaxanna’s finger, the screen went blank.
Deanna relaxed and sat back in her chair, letting out a deep breath. She smiled to herself at the thought of her mother. "You’ll never change will you?" She asked the blank screen as she ran a lazy finger over the top of the console.
"Who?" The voice was that of Will Riker, "Who’ll never change?"
She gave the man standing in her doorway a huge warm grin, and answered with a roll of her eyes, "Mother."
Riker knew immediately what she was referring to. "She’s your mother." Riker laughed as he straddled a chair. "Did you tell her?"
"And she wanted to know if you were delirious with fever when you asked for my hand in marriage."
Riker couldn’t hide his smile. "I didn’t think her telepathic prowess reached out this far in space." Riker teased, then with a lopsided grin he added, " Wait a minute. Is she still in the phase? As I recall you asked me."
"You and my mother should get along just fine."
"Wait until I tell her how you proposed." Riker teased, she sensed his mischievous mood. "She’ll love that story. It may even give her some ideas on how to capture a husband. I mean, after all, it worked for you."
Deanna threw a padd pencil at him and he immediately ducked, but not fast enough. The flying object hit and bounced off of his shoulder.
"We must be getting old, Deanna. Your tangible objects of anger are getting smaller and my reflexes to dodge them aren’t what they used to be."
"Your reflexes were fine last night." She stated, hoping it would jog his memory of last night’s love making.
It did. The expression on his face was all the answer she needed.
There was a chime at the door, breaking their playful mood.
"Come." Deanna answered.
Standing in the doorway was Ensign Smith, a mousy looking young man, who was timid and shy. He stood at immediate attention at the sight of his Commanding officer. "Sir…." He stammered. "I’m…. I’m…. Sorry Sir. If I interrupted…" the young man was evidently nervous.
"No…. No…It’s quite all right. At ease ensign." Riker said standing to his feet. "I was just leaving." He informed the young man.
"Meet me for lunch?"
"I’ll be there." Deanna smiled.
Riker winked at her, and exited out of the Counselor’s office.
"Please sit down." Deanna gestured to the young ensign as they began the evaluation session.
"She’s what!" Deanna stammered into the air as she sat straight up in her chair behind her desk.
Chief O’Brien answered. "Your mother, she’s transporting onto the ship."
"But why?" Deanna asked, "I just spoke to her three days ago. She never mentioned anything about boarding the ship."
"I can’t answer that, Counselor." O’Brien said through his communicator.
"No…I’m sorry Chief. I don’t suppose you can."
"She’s going to transport in five minutes."
"On my way." Deanna answered slowly, her voice full of dread. Standing to her feet she inhaled and exhaled deeply. "Mother, please don’t do this to me." She whispered as she walked out of her office.
"What do you suppose she wants?" Deanna asked as she stood beside her fiancée in the transporter room.
Riker shrugged, looking over at her he displayed his famous wide grin.
Deanna rolled her eyes at him, which only made his grin wider.
"Energize." He nodded towards the transportation chief, and with a touch of the padd Lwaxanna Troi materialized aboard the ship.
"Deanna, darling…" Lwaxanna said with open arms as she quickly walked towards her daughter. "Let me look at you." Lwaxanna stated with urgency. She stood with both hands firmly on her daughters’ shoulders holding her at arms length, scanning her body up and down and scanning her thoughts. "Thank the deities you aren’t pregnant. It’s a wonder though. That man’s got a libido that rages recklessly across the galaxy."
Riker’s face turned to stone at his soon to be mother in law’s remark.
"Welcome aboard, Mother." Deanna said dryly.
Lwaxanna kissed her daughter on one side of her cheek and then the other. "Thank you dear." She smiled. "Now, let’s go meet that fiancée of yours."
"He’s right here, mother."
Lwaxanna turned and glanced towards Riker and jumped slightly as if she was startled. "Oh he is…. Isn’t he?"
"Mrs. Troi." Riker said courteously, with a bow of his head.
"Who’s going to be your best man?" Lwaxanna asked without hesitation.
Stunned for a moment by her forwardness, Riker finally answered. "Captain Picard."
"You’ve passed that test young man." Lwaxanna said, satisfied with his answer. "Now, two more to go. You will come and visit me won’t you? You aren’t planning on taking my daughter completely away from me, are you? She’s all I’ve got."
"Not at all, Mrs. Troi. You will always be welcome on the ship."
"Good answer, William. One more to go."
Riker shot Deanna a totally confused look.
"You can transport my things aboard now." She ordered O’Brian. "I had to bring Mr. Holmes. He’s so jealous, and the thoughts he spews towards me. Well, they are simply indecent."
With a nod, O’Brian touched the control padd and transporting in a shimmering white light came her new valet. Materializing before her stood, Mr. Holmes. White skinned and tall and totally silent. He simply nodded his greeting toward the trio.
Directing her attention once again to her stunned daughter, she entwined her arm with Deanna’s and said, "Come dear. Show me to my quarters." She directed her next statement towards Riker without looking at him, "William, Mr. Holmes can carry my luggage. I know, how you want to…. But" Then Lwaxanna turned towards Riker, and tapped him on the cheek with the palm of her hand and added, "We wouldn’t want to strain you’re reproductive muscles, now would we dear?" She deadpanned him and asked, "You can produce children can’t you?"
Riker didn’t answer; he simply looked over to Deanna for help.
"You pass." Lwaxanna said, as she read Riker’s thoughts through his embarrassment.
"This way, Mother?" Deanna said, leading her mother out of the transportation room.
"Mother what are you doing here?" Deanna asked as they walked through the threshold of the guest quarters.
"Can’t I come and visit my daughter and congratulate her on her engagement?" Lwaxanna said as she popped a grape into her mouth. "Honestly Deanna, the longer you stay on this space ship the more priggish you become."
"You didn’t come to just visit or to congratulate me, Mother." Deanna scolded. "And I’m not priggish."
Lwaxanna shrugged, tossing her wrap off of her shoulders onto the floor. Deanna watched as Mr. Holmes mechanically bent down and picked up the wrap and began to fold it.
"What was that test thing you said to Will, Mother?"
"Oh that…it’s simply a test to prove one’s love."
"Will and I have nothing to prove."
"On Betazed when a woman asks the man for his hand in marriage, there are certain questions he must answer."
"Mother…." Deanna said apprehensively, "What are you up to?"
"Deanna, darling. Have I ever done anything to hurt you? I’m only looking out for your welfare." Then she stated under her breath, "And the welfare of my grandchildren."
"Grandchildren?" Deanna flopped down on the couch, defeated. "Will this never end?"
"I’m not staying long, dear. I’ve got preparations to make, and a wedding to plan. But we must abide by Betazed protocol. The final question is for me to ask him how you proposed?"
"Mother!" Deanna protested, jumping to her feet. "That’s between Will and I."
Lwaxanna looked at her daughter as if she were studying her.
<<You can’t block your mind little one, not from your mother…..>> Lwaxanna sent to her daughter.
Lwaxanna suddenly gasped, and stated out loud, her voice full of shock. "You didn’t? Oh, Deanna Troi!! You mustn’t tell anyone…. What will people think!"
Deanna stood in silence, knowing that Lwaxanna knew.
Lwaxanna bit her bottom lip, and then with a thin lipped smile she asked with interest. "And it worked?"
"She left? Already?"
"She went back to Betazed, to plan the wedding." Deanna answered. "She really wants us to get married, Will. Mother is truly happy for us. She told me to tell you that she loves you."
"You never told her how you proposed?"
"I didn’t have to." Deanna sat down on the couch beside Riker. "She read my mind. Mother has a strong gift of telepathy and she is an avid mind reader."
"Beverly knows." Riker smiled.
"What?" Deanna asked, "How did she find out?"
"Your mother told her." Riker relayed. "And she of course told me. I’ll never live this one down. When I asked her where the medical padds were she answered, ‘That’s two blocks forward and one block to the side.’ She can really be a stinker sometimes, but she did promise not to tell anyone until after the wedding. Maybe we should just tell everyone the truth, and take the beating we deserve."
"What? Tell everyone that I won your hand in a tri-dimensional chess game?" Deanna asked wide-eyed. Her voice lowered, sounding defeated. "Maybe we should just forget the whole thing."
"And renege on a bet?" Riker protested. "Not on your life."
"It does seem kind of silly now." Deanna said, lowering her eyes to the floor.
Will immediately recognized the pain in her voice. "Hey," He whispered lifting her chin with his hand, so that she was forced to look at him. "You did win, fair and square."
"In seven moves." Deanna smiled slightly, reminding him of his defeat.
"Even though. I did have a disadvantage." He teased lovingly.
"You never had a disadvantage." Deanna protested, yet her voice was playful. "It was a fair game. You said so yourself."
Riker smiled, "It was a disadvantage, Deanna. You neglected to tell me that you possessed the ability to beat Data."
"My past opponents didn’t have anything to do with it." Deanna said, moving her head from his hand.
"Deanna. You beat Data for gods sakes." Riker chuckled. "I never knew that."
"You were the one who wanted to make the stakes high, Will Riker."
"Wedlock? I’d say that’s pretty high."
"Yes." Deanna smiled mischievously. "And you lost."
"Can I tell you something, Miss Troi?" Deanna looked at him and waited for his next words, her eyes giving him her full undivided attention. "I don’t consider myself a loser at all. To be honest. I most definitely won."
"Is that why you were sweating?" She asked as she stood to her feet, getting ready to go to the replicator for a cup of tea.
"I wasn’t sweating." He rebuffed her. Riker reached out and grabbed her by the waist pulling her down onto his lap and began to plant kisses on her neck. "I let you win." He whispered, as his skilled hands began to explore her body. "I wanted you to win."
"We’ll have a rematch when we decide to have children, all right?" Deanna whispered, giving his lips full access to her neck and bare shoulder.
"No." Riker smiled, "That one calls for a poker game."